Behind the Scenes

"Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back."

-author unknown

behind-the-scenes-Heartbox-Photography. Copyright 2018. All rights reserved..jpg

I remember the excitement of finding my niche in photography. Before this decision, it was not unusual to feel like I "had" to do what I saw other photographers doing - weddings, corporate headshots, baby photography, etc. While there was nothing inherently wrong with any of these categories of photography, I simply wanted to create something more. Something that involved my love for fashion and my love for creating a styled shoot for the real woman  -  showing them a side of their own unique beauty they may have never seen or believed they had before. The way their eyes light up when they see their images is priceless and brings a smile to my own heart for being able to create that for them. 

Behind the scene images are just as fun to look at as the final images that come out of a shoot. It tells the fun story of the entire creative process, and I love how stylists have that same look of concentrated effort that I get as a photographer when finalizing all the tiny details to perfection.  I came across these old photographs that show the behind-the-scenes action of my first styled photo shoots years ago when I decided that women's portrait photography was where I was going to focus on. These photos still make me smile because the very first stylist I worked with was none other than my own sister. She's a whizkid at hair styling, while I can barely get my hair in a bun. I still remember planning details with her, reviewing images of ideas for hairstyles, even sharing in the same nervous feelings on the day of the shoots because it was the first time both of us were trying this out! (I even remember her staring at the clouds looming in the sky during a shoot and whispering to me "You sure we have enough light?!?" My hands were clammy, armpits were sweating (you're welcome), I was already scared we weren't going to be able to pull it off, but.....I just lied and said  we were fine (#BigSisterOfTheYear), ran with it, and ended up creating some of the very first images that launched Heartbox Photography. It was a proud moment of creativity and teamwork. :)

Since those first photo shoots years ago, I have had the privilege to work with many other talented hair and makeup artists who were not only beyond amazing at their craft, but operated with the same high-level professionalism. These stylists and the way they have taken great care of each of my clients is something I am beyond grateful for because it has helped propel forward the vision I have for Heartbox Photography. Simply put, I can not do it without them. It makes me even more proud that the people I have teamed up with are other women who are also doing what they love as they create and serve others.  More behind-the-scenes video clips and images of these women hard at work are going to be shared soon, so stay tuned!




Rainia | 2017 | Glamour & Contemporary Portraits | Oakland, CA


"I have SO many amazing SHEROES...

my mom, aunts, and grandmother inspire me."

- Rainia

I absolutely LOVE Rainia's passion for world and local travel, for rich culture and music, for education, for treasured moments with friends and family - whether that means globe-trotting with them to Europe or sharing some time together over an award-winning movie and dinner.

Born and raised in Bay Area and as a graduate of both San Francisco State and Golden Gate University, Rainia's care for the people in her life extends well-beyond her family and friends and into her life's work. She currently works heavily with troubled youth all while also working towards completing her licensing as a marriage and family therapist. 

This daughter, friend, sister, counselor, world-traveler, and beautiful woman comes from a long line of other strong and and beautiful women (her Sheros!) who have helped her become who she is - and I am extremely proud that she chose to step in front of my camera, inspire other women through a glimpse into who she is, and celebrate her life in this way. 

If you could live in any country, which would it be and why?  

"I'd like to split my time between the Bay Area and a country in the Caribbean or South America."

If you could meet anyone in history, who would it be and why?

"Nelson Mandela and Frida Pablo! I like to mix art and social justice."

"Embrace everything about yourself -

there's no one else in the world like you and that makes you special."

What do you think makes a woman beautiful?

"Our passion."

What do you appreciate most about your life now?

"That I REALLY like myself and [have] learned to embrace myself."

Photography by Heartbox Photography

Hair/makeup: Beauty by Keziah


Rhonda | 2017 | Glamour & Contemporary Portraits | Santa Clara, CA


"She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future." - Proverbs 31:25

When she first shared her story with me, I remember feeling just this sense of "whoa". Mostly because I am more prone to being skittish about the future than confident and am always immediately floored when I meet a woman like her who has survived so much and still wears the badge of an unwavering faith for all to see.

The hint of her Southern roots can be heard in the sweetness of her voice, but don't let that fool you. This beautiful lady is refreshingly honest and straightforward, but in such a way that clearly reveals that at her core, she is also strong, kind, and loyal, being the first to stand up for what she believes is right or even to defend a friend from a bully as a child growing up in the South. 

And that laugh? Well, you can see it for yourself in the twinkle of her eyes through these photographs and video that I am so very proud to share with you all of this beautiful lady named Rhonda. 

Rhonda, thank you for being willing to step out in front of my camera, to share your story and your faith without filters or shame, to boldly live life out loud, to dance simply for the joy of it - all so as to encourage other women - other people -  to do the same. I have enjoyed getting to know you, to laugh with you, to be a part of celebrating this new season of your life. May these photographs continue to draw forth that shining smile of yours for all to witness, even years down the road. 

"I went through a 2 year period of loss. My parents, my dog, and my husband of 25 years all pass in a 2 year time frame. We moved from New Mexico to take care of terminal parents so we left behind our support system of friends and church, too. After the loss of my mom on Mother's Day 2013, I came to California to grieve and start my life over."





"My life is beginning again.

I have related my life to the Japanese art of Kintsugi where they turn broken pottery into beautiful art by putting it back together with gold or other precious metals."



When was the last time you left your comfort zone? I performed a dance routine on stage last May and we had some mistakes but it came out fine.

If you could meet anyone in history, who would it be and why? This is tough. Abraham Lincoln because he stood up against the norm [even though] it wasn't a popular idea and [because] he wanted to bring the entire country back together to heal. Jesus because he loved me enough to die for me.

My dad - he died when I was only 10 and I didn't know him very well or what his dreams were for me, but I know he was respected and well loved. His funeral wasn't even standing room, the building was packed and the procession was over 5 miles long in the rain.

What is one piece of advice you would give your 18-year-old self? Take better care of your health, skin and body - you only have one and you want it to last! And...insist that your husband learn to dance with you.







What do you think makes a woman beautiful? 

"Her spirit and heart.

Women are designed as emotional beings and we need to appreciate that."





What do you appreciate most about your life now? 

"How good God has been to me.

He has seen me through some long and difficult storms and blessed me with some of the best friends a person could know."


A funny or surprising fact about yourself? I presented flowers to the wives of the Russian cosmonauts that first shook hands with American astronauts in space. Shook hands with all of them.

I am [also] stronger than I look. I have dead lifted over 200 lbs and bench pressed 90 lbs. They still ask me at the grocery store if I need help out with my items...haha!








"I know that I am in God's hands and that he has a purpose for the next half of my life.

I found God's joy - His internal, overflowing, abundant joy."


Many thanks to Keziah Dauz for her styling of Rhonda's hair and makeup!


Sonia| 2017 | Glamour & Contemporary Outdoor Portraits | Fremont, CA


Time shapes and molds people in different ways as the years go by. And while the years change some individuals, for others time seems to simply solidify the best character traits you've known existed in them from the beginning. 

Sonia and I go way back. As in, during a time when Jansport backpacks were what you sported and pagers were the best way for your parents to flag you down on a summer day to tell you to come home for dinner. We even had the same baby sitter at one point, sharing the same memories of what it was like to jump at the sound of the doorbell, hoping it was our turn to finally get picked up after waiting impatiently for what seemed like decades. Oh, the challenges of childhood.

Quiet, steady, dependable, warm, and genuine is how I'd describe Sonia and I kid you not when I say that she's remained pretty much the same from our adolescent years. She has supported Heartbox Photography from the very beginning, back when I was displaying my art in a local coffee shop. Her appreciation for the arts and love for travel and color is nothing short of wonderful and clearly evident by the beautiful displays that carefully line the wall of her dining room in her home. 

Sonia and Kevin celebrated a huge event in 2016, the birth of their son, Noah. And it is my pleasure and honor to be able to not only celebrate this beautiful woman, but to also celebrate the moments in her life that have helped shape her heart to be who she is today and enable her to love like she's never loved before.

Sonia, thank you. For not only supporting the early years of my work as a photographer, but for the chance for us to reconnect as friends, laugh over memories from childhood, and now celebrate this new chapter of your life. May these images remind you of not only the beautiful woman you already are on the outside, but also of people around you that fill your heart and reveal how beautiful you are on the inside as well. 

These are just a few of my favorite shots from Sonia's photo shoot. Be sure to check out the behind-the-scenes video below to sell all the images!

Hair/makeup by Becky Lau of Beautiful One Makeup Artistry

"I was never one who enjoyed being in front of the camera. I was shy, self-conscious, and I just didn't see myself as beautiful. Then one day I saw a candid photo of myself laughing. My smile nearly stretched from ear to ear and my cheeks were rosy and my eyes looked so...vibrant, for lack of a better word. I liked this photo. I looked so at ease, I had joy, my happiness was genuine and I thought I looked pretty in this moment." 

"I wish I [could have told] my younger self that beauty is not necessarily something you have or are. Rather, it's something you express, something you evoke, something you embody." 

"I [would also tell my younger self] that happiness is something you can give yourself. It can be a choice. Don't waste your time thinking there are things that need to be done on a timeline, just enjoy what's happening in that moment. "

"When I think of beauty in a woman, I often admire a woman's smile. When someone truly smiles it can reach all the way up to their eyes."

"A smile can express so many different things and is unique to each person. That's why I think it is so beautiful."

"I appreciate that my life is exactly where it's supposed to be right now. My life feels full. Full of so many wonderful things; my home, my partner, my family, my friends, my work, and MOST of all my son. He puts a smile on my face every single day and so I feel peace, strength, joy, love, hope and anticipation for the future. I look forward and see an adventure I can't wait to experience!"


Elissa | 2016 | Glamour & Contemporary Portraits | Santa Clara, CA


"Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak." - Rachel Zoe

She is a wife, mother of two, a daughter, friend - not to mention a woman well-skilled at leading others through her work at Facebook, Groupon, and e-Bay. I recently had the opportunity to photograph and get to know this wonderful lady named Elissa and I am so honored to share not only a bit about her, but also some of my favorite images from her photo shoot with Heartbox Photography!

Elissa, thank you for trusting me to capture you in these photographs and to celebrate who you are as a beautiful woman, influencing others greatly both at home and work. Your youth and vibrancy, your essence as a woman, simply shined through with each smile you shared in these images.

May you be reminded, for years to come, that you are valuable and beautiful, with a unique style that is all your own.

Many thanks to Kat Tinney of A List Makeup for her work on Elissa's hair and  makeup!

What is one thing you wish you could tell yourself back when you were 18 years old?

"I [would] tell my younger self to have more confidence in myself and my abilities and not to compare myself to others. Be me."

What would you tell young girls with regards to beauty and self-confidence?

"Don't rush it - you will grow up. Enjoy your life as it is today. Make time for your family and friends. Enjoy the moment."

"I try to manage family and work life but not always well -- but enjoy the fun and challenges of both parts."

What do you appreciate most about your life now?

"I appreciate my family and friends. I am grateful for the support and friendship they give me."

"I believe true beauty comes from within. A self-confident person who cares about herself, is happy, and brings joy to others is truly beautiful."

I couldn't agree more, Elissa. 


Glamour & Contemporary Portraits | Bina | 2016 | Santa Clara, CA


"A beautiful woman is someone who is wise, kind, classy, and whose eyes light up when she smiles..."

These are words directly from a lovely wife, mother, and woman named Bina. Her eyes twinkle with a ready smile. Her love for her daughter, husband, and life itself is evident in the way she describes this season of her life and shares about who she is. We spent the afternoon in hair/makeup with the talented Kalani Brown Kalani Style and had a wonderful time capturing Bina's beautiful smile in these photographs.

It is my honor and privilege to share with you all the latest feature, story, and photoshoot along with a behind the scenes look into Bina's time with Heartbox Photography - check it out below!

Bina, thank you for trusting me to capturing that twinkling smile of yours and for sharing your story with me! Your daughter is fortunate to have a mother  and role model who embodies joy and pride in being who she is as a woman. Here's to continuing to empower your daughter, as well as future generations, of young girls that will shape this world. 


"I was born and raised in Bombay, India. I'm a textile designer by profession, but have been a stay-at-home mom looking after my beautiful daughter for the last 10 years. I've loved every bit of being a hands-on parent. The bond we share is priceless."

"It's an interesting time for me. My daughter just finished elementary school and is getting to the point where she is more independent. I'm looking to get back to designing. I'm a foodie and love experimenting and cooking wholesome food for my family and friends. I've also been assisting with Ayurvedic cooking classes. "

What is one thing you wish you could tell yourself back when you were 18 years old?

"I wish I would have told myself to be fearless!"

"Over the years, my focus has been on simplifying my loving husband and daughter's life and on just being happy. Traveling is something we like doing as a family and we've been fortunate enough to travel to many places around the world, experiencing different cultures. No matter what my week looks like I always make time for hiking and reading, my two favorite activities."

What would you tell young girls with regards to beauty, self-confidence, and growing up?

"I would tell my daughter and other young girls to not let the world tell you what perfect is! Just be yourself.

Speak your mind, be uninhibited, be authentic and in the moment. And keep smiling!"

What you appreciate most about your life now?

"I am comfortable in my own skin, I'm following my heart and loving the journey!"


Sisters | Amy, Julie & Kristina | Glamour and Contemporary Portraits | Santa Clara, CA


My own sisters and I like to joke that we all share one brain. A little weird to picture, but I think that joke originated from the fact that we simply shared our lives together, that there was this special bond between us that only sisters could understand.

When I met Julie, Kristina, and Amy, I could immediately tell I would just love working with these awesome ladies. There are four sisters altogether, but only the three of them live in California, with their fourth sister living in Florida. Their closeness and love for one another was obvious in the abundance of laughter, smiles, and jokes shared during their photo shoot with me on a Saturday morning.

To be a part of helping celebrate these beautiful ladies and their sisterhood was a great honor and I am so excited to share with you all a few images as well as a full slideshow/video of their day with Heartbox Photography, so be sure to check it out below!

Kristina, Julie, and Amy -                                                  

Thank you for allowing me the privilege to not only capture the essence of who each of you are as beautiful individuals, but also what you are together as sisters and women who support and love one another. May these images and experience forever be a treasured reminder of how beautiful it is to be a woman - and what a blessing it is to be a part of this gift of sisterhood. 

"We are extremely close. We grew up going to school together, shared a room, as well as shared all of our clothes - yes, we all wore the same size! Kristina and I were only a year apart in school so we had the same friends, shared the same first car, attended the same college, and were even college roommates."

"We all listen to the same types of music, all enjoy shopping and love to eat the same types of food. You could say that we have A LOT in common. We still share our clothes and talk to each other on a daily basis."   - Amy

What is something you wish you could tell yourself back when you were 18 years old?

"Happiness comes from experiencing things you love surrounded by people you love. Don't worry so much about what others would say or think of you because in the end, time will continue to move and you don't want to waste your lifetime living for others. Use your lifetime to create memories experiences that you want to look back on and fall in love with the story of your life." - Amy

"Your body is beautiful, embrace yourself. Education is beautiful, because no one can take that away from you. You and only you, control your destiny." - Kristina

What do you appreciate most about your life now?

"I appreciate the fact that I have a relationship with God. Through this relationship, I have found the true meaning of love and happiness. I realize how blessed I am with my family, the memories that we get to create together, and every single day is embraced in our household."  - Amy

"I appreciate my family more than anything. I appreciate our health, our time together, and our love for one another."   -Kristina

"I am the youngest of the 5 siblings. I just moved to California two months ago because my husband Robby accepted a job opportunity in Silicon Valley. I am 39 years old, married to my best friend, whom I have known since I was 14 years old, though we did not date until after I graduated college. We have 3 precious girls - Chloe, Audrey, and Leia. Yes, our daughter was named after Princess Leia in Star Wars. They are the center of our world! We love to spend time outside as a family hiking, beaching, and exploring new places." - Amy

"Beauty is definitely more on the inside for me. It is the beauty of someone's heart and soul. Her genuine character. The love that she shares with others." - Amy

"I have three young girls (4,6, and 8) and I tell them they are beautiful everyday. I tell them that God placed them here on this earth for a reason and each one is blessed with special gifts. Embrace the gifts you are given and use it to show love to others. That is how we can grow the love here on this earth and beyond. So if someone was mean to them, we talk about about we think they would act that way, pray for the individual, forgive him/her and move on." 

"I want them to know that people's actions and words reflects who that individual is and should not affect us. So they understand that everyone is supposed to be different with different looks of beauty, talents, gifts, and qualities."    -Amy

Julie and her husband, Bobby, met in high school. It was truly a match made in heaven, as they were inseparable after that. Julie moved to California with her husband and first son, Christian when she was in her late 20's. They had their daughter, Hayley, here in California. 


She has a career as a loan officer and her family is very much into fitness, food, and fashion.  Julie loves to shop...for everyone, according to her sister, Amy. They enjoy going out to eat as a family and loves the beach/warm weather so they spend their vacations either on the beaches of Hawaii or Florida. 

Kristina moved to California after graduating college in her early 20's. She met her prince charming in San Francisco and married him. Kristina and her husband, Howard, have two beautiful children, Lauren and Lance. Her family loves to travel around the world and experience new foods, culture, and scenery. They are also very involved in the community and what is best for their kids.

"I believe nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she IS beautiful." - Kristina

"Your body is not everything that defines you. Don't take everything so seriously - enjoy life! Most of the stuff that makes you anxious doesn't really matter when you're older." - Kristina

"We are truly blessed to have this sister bond and we all know it. I could go on and on about all the things we share. We've created so many memories together and now all of our kids are growing up together as loving cousins. What more could we ask for in life?" - Amy

I couldn't agree more. :)


Preview | Sonia | Glamour and Contemporary Portrait | Fremont, CA

As the years swirl by with a speed that seems to increase each passing year, there is something still so sweet and refreshing about reminders of childhood memories. From the wave of nostalgia that comes from passing by an old neighborhood to rehashing memories with old friends in the laughs that remind us of long summers, giggles over latest crushes, and grade school book reports.

I have known Sonia for more years than I can count. She is truly a beautiful person inside and out and I am so honored to have the opportunity to capture her in these photographs.

Below is a preview into Sonia's photoshoot that I am thrilled to share with you all. There is more to come as always, so be sure to stay tuned!

Many thanks to the wonderful Becky Lau of Beautiful One Makeup Artistry for her styling of Sonia's look for this shoot!



Bea | Glamour and Contemporary Portraits | Santa Clara, CA

I had the recent honor of photographing and getting to know a lovely woman named Beatrice ....or, as she's more known to her nearest and dearest, "Bea". This beautiful woman is not only a mommy, wife, daughter, sister, and friend but a yoga instructor, speech and language pathologist, home health therapist and Netflix marathoner. 

And when I found out that she loves avocados as well, let's just say I knew we were going to get along just fine. =) 

Her smile and sense of humor was an absolute joy to be around, making the hours just fly by during the fun we had during her makeover and photoshoot. Below are a few of my favorites that I am proud to share with you all along with a full on video of our time together with the lovely Bea. 

Bea, it was an honor getting to know you and to have you become a part of the message that all women are indeed beautiful as they are today. May you look back at your own smile in each of these photographs and continue to remember that for yourself as well. 

 Many thanks to the talented Kat Tinney for Bea's hair/makeup!

"A beautiful woman is comfortable in her own skin and in her perfect imperfection. She does not take herself too seriously and knows  how to enjoy life to its fullest. Someone who, despite what life hands them, is overflowing with joie de vivre."

"A beautiful woman doesn't rely on what's in her make-up bag."

What do you wish you could tell yourself back when you were 18 years old?

"Wear your SPF! Hahaha! Wise words from my mom.  I would tell myself "Babyguuurl, accept yourself as God made you because he does not make mistakes!"

"Look up (from your screen), life is going on around you! Explore the world around you, go for a hike, hydrate!"

"Speak up for yourself, and do not be afraid to make decisions because nobody really knows where they are trying to reach. Breathe, really BREATHE, and enjoy just being because you will be ok." 

PREVIEW | Bina | Glamour & Contemporary Portrait | Santa Clara, CA

Smiles and laughter is wonderfully contagious and the afternoon was filled with it the day I got to photograph this beautiful woman, wife, and mother named Bina. 

I absolutely love how Bina's default expression in her eyes is one that is filled with a genuine happiness and sense of humor - and it is my honor to have been given the opportunity to capture that loveliness in the timelessness of a portrait photograph. 

Below is just a little glimpse into Bina's photoshoot - be sure to stay tuned for more to come!

Many thanks to the awesome Kalani Brown of Kalani Style for her lovely work on Bina's hair and makeup!



PREVIEW | Bea | Glamour and Contemporary Portraits | Santa Clara, CA

Even in this digital age, I am still a huge advocate and fan of having pictures printed out, whether it's treasured in a special folio box, an album you can touch, or a beautiful frame to display. And in this era of blinding speed and fleeting moments, I am still a huge advocate for stopping time in a special way for a woman through a timeless portrait of just herself.

Yes, I know it seems odd to take some time out of an incredibly hectic and busy life to have your portrait taken. I know it seems odd to have your hair done, to go beyond just the two second application of eyeliner and instead have a professional do your makeup in a way that makes you feel your best, polished self. However, many years down the road, it won't seem so odd anymore. Because that portrait of you that you hold in your hands is now part of the legacy of your family. Your children will treasure it, your grandchildren will have a glimpse into generations before them. It will serve as a reminder to you, that every year of your life is important and that there is something wonderful about reflecting back on a photograph of yourself from years ago. It will bring a smile to your face as you recall just where you were at in life when it was captured. And as a woman, I hope it resonates something deep inside you and reminds you that you are valued and wonderfully made.

Exist in photographs for yourself. Exist in photographs for your loved ones. 

Exist in photographs. 

I am incredibly excited and honored share with you all the latest celebration of women who have chosen to exist in photographs, a lovely mother and wife named Bea.

Bea not only a mother and wife, but a daughter, a sister, a friend, yoga instructor, speech and language pathologist, a homehealth therapist, a Netflix marathoner. Having spent an afternoon with her in the studio was more like hanging out with a familiar friend as her easygoing personality and laughter filled our conversations. 

As always, this is just a sneak peak, so stay tuned for more!

Happy Thursday!

Many thanks to Kat Tinney  of A List Makeup for Bea's hair and makeup!

PREVIEW | Nicole | Glamour and Contemporary Portraits | Santa Clara, CA

A writer, DIY'er, editor, tutor, and yoga instructor.

A soon-to-be adventure finder in Spain.

A woman with talents she uses and generously shares with others.

All these things are just a few ways to describe the lovely Melissa, whom I had the privilege to recently photograph.

It was an afternoon of smiles and laughs as we experienced the fun of capturing just the right amount of fan breeze to highlight her gorgeous red hair. I am so proud and excited to share with you all the sneak peak into Melissa's photo shoot below. As always, stay tuned as there are more images to come!

Many thanks to Kat Tinney for her styling of Nicole's hair and makeup!

PREVIEW: Melissa | Glamour & Contemporary Portrait | Santa Clara, CA

One of my sisters once referred to my other sister and me as her "wombmates". I thought it was the funniest term and it's the first thing that comes to mind as I write this post. As sisters, we were each others first friends, arch rivals, and partners in crime growing up. I could go on and on, but my point is that as different as my sisters and me are from each other, I wouldn't trade them for the world. 

As I've grown into an adult, I have found that even more special than the bond of siblings is the bond of sisters. As women, we need other women in our corner. To laugh with, cry with, cheer on, encourage, and simply be with. We women GET each other in a unique way and there is something so life-giving about that fact. 

Recently, I had the privilege to photograph the beautiful Melissa. Her sister, Sandy, had been a client of mine a few years back and wanted to give her little sister the same experience she had of celebrating her life through a portrait session with me, complete with being pampered with hair/make up styling!

Below is just a sneak peak into the photo shoot of this lovely lady - more to come so be sure to stay tuned!

Many thanks to the talented Kat Tinney for Melissa's beautiful hair and makeup!

PREVIEW: Kelly | Beauty & Glamour Maternity | Santa Clara, California

There is something so magical about bright and natural light weaving it's way into the photographs of a woman celebrating an important moment in her life. And the bright afternoon sunshine that softened it's glow through the white curtains made for the perfect backdrop for an afternoon beauty and glamour maternity photo session. 

Kelly is a lovely wife, mother of one little boy, and soon to be mother of a second boy in August. I was recently given the honor of photographing this beautiful woman for her maternity session and I am so excited to share with you all a little sneak preview image from her photoshoot. There is definitely more to share, so stay tuned!

Many thanks to the talented Kat Tinney for Kelly's hair and makeup!

PREVIEW: Sukhdeep | Glamour and Contemporary Portraits | Alameda, CA

When I was younger, I used to wonder about that whole idea about a woman never revealing her age. And when I say I "wondered" about it, I really mean that I thought it was strange and well, actually, disagreed with it. I don't know who came up with that idea, but shouldn't a woman be proud of her age? Shouldn't she be able to walk around with a sense of joy, instead of hesitation, knowing that every year in her age represents life she is continually blessed with? 

On a sunny and cool afternoon, I had the privilege to meet a lovely woman named Sukhdeep. In addition to her sweet and friendly smile, what stood out to me even more in our conversations as I got to know her was how she laughed and shared how proud she was to be a woman in her 40's.

And that declaration right there? Well, that deserved a you-go-girl kind of high-five in my book! Needless to say, Sukhdeep is all kinds of beautiful, inside and out. 

Below is just a sneak peak in to her photo session with Heartbox Photography. There are more images to come and more to share about Sukhdeep, so be sure to stay tuned!

Many thanks to the awesome Jessica Quintal for Sukhdeep's hair/makeup!

Margret | September Birthday Rewards | Portraits by Heartbox Photography | Bay Area, CA

As the cooler air starts to settle in and we teeter between the remnants of summer weather mixed with the anticipation of a new season to come, I'd like to take the time out to say a happy birthday to the September Birthday Rewards winner, none other than the lovely Margret!

Margret and her family were one of the earlier supporters of my endeavors with Heartbox Photography and to have that trust from people to allow you into their world in front of the camera is a gift I will never forget.

Margret, I hope you had a fabulous September birthday celebration. Thank you for always being so supportive and genuinely kind. Here's to many, MANY more beautiful years to come!

Marie | June Birthday Rewards | Portraits by Heartbox Photography | Bay Area, CA

Awhile back, I had the honor of photographing the lovely Marie as part of the Fifty and Fabulous series. Her constant smile and upbeat personality are nothing less than a joy to be around and it is my pleasure to announce her as the winner for June's Birthday Rewards drawing!

Cheers to you, Marie! Here's to many more years of life, joy, and hula dancing like there's no tomorrow - happy birthday! 

Preview - Danielle, 2015 | Headshot Portraits by Heartbox Photography | Los Gatos, CA

Walking into any new situation that involves crowds of people and name tags has never been easy for me. Ever. It is almost a guarantee that as I maneuver my way through the crowds of confident chatter from women of various professional backgrounds, my focus and footsteps will always be zoned in on finding the snack/refreshment table quickly so I could hide my lack of confidence beneath the casual munching of cheese and crackers.

However, despite my innate ability to be terribly awkward and shy, I have been very fortunate to meet a ton of friendly and welcoming professionals who have been helpful and kind beyond what I can ever measure. 

Danielle is one such individual and I had the privilege of meeting her at a local networking event hosted by a wonderful organization called Women in Consulting. I had the opportunity to get to know this talented graphic artist and project manager as we spent a beautiful and sunny afternoon preparing for a photo shoot to update her headshots. 

Below is just a sneak peak into Danielle's photo session - there's definitely more so be sure to stay tuned! 

Happy Tuesday!

A special thanks to stylist,  Kat Tinney,  for her beautiful work on Danielle's hair and makeup!

Asmeret, 2015 | Portraits by Heartbox Photography | Bay Area, CA

The one thing I've always, always, always loved about the kind of portrait photography I chose to pursue is that it is not a one-way deal. It never gets tiring to be able to see a smile light up a person's face when they see themselves in a new light because of a photograph I can present to them.

It had been about 15 years since I last spoke with Asmeret and to be able to reconnect through photography has been nothing but fun and fabulous - much like Asmeret herself! We had last seen each other when were teenagers and I had the privilege to spend a sunny afternoon chatting, catching up and laughing with an old friend from long ago.

In our laughing and chatting, we each learned how life had grown us, what rough seasons it had taken us through since high-school, the victories we got to witness and experience as young adults growing into, well, older adults, how God's grace sustained us through it all, and what we still hope and dream for as 30-somethings now.

Azzy, I am excited to have reconnected with you after all these years and beyond honored that you have allowed me to capture your kind smile, your unique fierceness, in these photographs. I hope they serve as a lasting reminder of how awesome it is when you let your internal beauty shine through - brightly, unwavering and most of all, real.

Happy Wednesday, folks!

A special thank you to the talented Kathleen Tinney of A List Makeup for her beautiful work on Asmeret's hair and makeup!

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Jessica | February Birthday Rewards | Portraits by Heartbox Photography | Bay Area, CA

I had the opportunity to meet Jessica a few years back at a networking meeting here in the Bay Area. Jessica's quiet demeanor and shy smile may be what you see on the outside, but after I got the opportunity get to know and work with her, I quickly learned that beneath that quiet demeanor was a woman of deep thought, an articulate speaker, a true leader and someone I admire and respect.

And needless to say, I am so very excited to announce that Jessica is the winner for February's Birthday Rewards drawing with Heartbox Photography!

Jessica, I hope you had a wonderful birthday celebration! Here's to more years of celebrating life!

Happy, happy birthday!

Hair and makeup by Ashlyn Taylor